Coronavirus Worker Death Claims Increase in Florida

Coronavirus Worker Death Claims Increase in Florida

Coronavirus Worker Death Claims Increase in Florida 2444 2560 Panter, Panter & Sampedro

COVID-19 continues to affect our country and communities both at home and at work. Lawsuits against employers claiming workers died as a result of contracting the virus while on the job are increasing in Florida and across the US.   death claims

There have been 32 worker death claims and 8 class action workplace lawsuits filed in Florida involving the coronavirus as of June 30, 2020. California is the only other state with more cases, with 47 worker death claims and 11 class-action lawsuits.

Loved ones in these cases claim that the companies failed to protect their family members from the coronavirus while at work and are seeking compensation. 

The new coronavirus is responsible for more than 150,000 deaths across the United States, with more than 7,000 in Florida. All industries are feeling the impact. Workers and employers are on guard against the virus as some workplaces begin to move from remote work back to in-person settings.

Employer Responsibilities

This pandemic is unprecedented, but employers are still responsible for keeping workers safe on the job. As employees return to work, human resource experts remind employers to take steps to avoid claims, including training managers to understand responsibilities and employee rights, educating staff about employee leave law, and developing safety plans. 

The latest draft of a new coronavirus relief bill in the US Senate contains legislation that makes it harder for workers to sue their employers if they get sick on the job. This proposed legislation would protect employers unless they acted with willful misconduct or engaged in grossly negligent behavior. 

Those resisting this bill are asking that lawmakers instead strengthen worker protections through tougher Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) rules. OSHA is the government agency responsible for protecting workers from injuries, illnesses, and hazards in the workplace.

Workers’ Rights

US workers have filed more than 6,000 complaints regarding COVID-19 in the workplace with OSHA. As of June 9, OSHA had issued only one citation related to the coronavirus. 

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Businesses are required by OSHA to keep workplaces free from health and safety hazards. They are also required to post and share safety information with their employees and provide safety training when necessary. Employees have the right to request information about past injuries or deaths in the workplace. 

Employers may create dangerous work environments by not following safety standards. By not following safety protocols, they can be held financially responsible by the government. In cases of workplace death or injury due to lack of safety measures, courts may hold employers responsible in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

What To Do If You Feel At Risk

If you feel that there is a hazard in your workplace or if your employer is being negligent in protecting employees against the coronavirus, you have the right to report it directly to OSHA. You also have the right to refuse to work if there are no reasonable alternatives to working in a safer environment or are not offered other ways to stay protected at work. 

Our team is here to help you with any questions regarding your safety in the workplace. Please give us a call if you think you or a loved one has been put at risk at work at (305) 662-6178. To keep up to date with the news about COVID-19 and our firm, please follow us on Twitter. We also recommend that you get the latest information from the CDC about COVID-19

Sources:

Adamy (2020, July 30). Families File First Wave of Covid-19 Lawsuits Against Companies Over Worker Deaths. Retrieved from

https://wsj.com/articles/families-file-first-wave-of-covid-19-lawsuits-against-companies-over-worker-deaths-11596137454

Marchante (2020, August 4). New COVID-19 cases in Florida drop to fewer than 8,000 for third straight day. Retrieved from https://miamiherald.com/news/coronavirus/article244707107.html

Bobrowski (2020, July 16). ‘OSHA is AWOL’: Critics say the federal agency is where workplace COVID-19 complaints go to die. Retrieved from

https://tampabay.com/news/2020/07/16/osha-is-awol-critics-say-federal-agency-is-where-workplace-covid-19-complaints-go-to-die/

Burden (2020, July 10). Workplace COVID-19 lawsuits increasing ‘exponentially,’ Fisher Phillips says. Retrieved from

https://hrdive.com/news/covid-19-workplace-cases-rising-exponentially-Fisher-Phillips/581320/

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